15 High-Tech Kitchen Gadgets - Useful or Over-the-Top?

From on June 17, 2008 in CalFinder News

blue fruit extenderYou tell us. Are you someone who loves a good idea, especially one designed for the practical purposes of a kitchen? Well, practical may not be the first word that comes to mind when you read about the following modern gadgets. But if not practical, then what? What’s ingenious to some may prove unnecessary to others. High-tech kitchen electronics now have quite a long list of qualifications, from printing out your grocery list to protecting your ice-cream. Whether or not they’re actually useful really depends on you and the type of kitchen you envision. One thing’s for sure, there’s a lot of imagination out there! Check out these 15 devices to start:

  1. The Connected Kitchen. This includes a refrigerator with an LCD TV screen built into it, with a touch-sensitive screen and Internet access. Because you never know when the hunger pangs might hit, at the same time you need to check your email. At least, maybe that’s what LG Electronics had in mind?
  2. Food Robot. This 5-foot-high electronic chef can be programmed to make a one-pot meal, via a cooker placed in its belly and a screen on its chest. Something for your holiday list, perhaps?
  3. TMIO Intelligent Oven. Not around to program your oven? The TMIO oven can be controlled via cell phone or Internet. Then, when you’ve got leftovers, you can place them in the same oven, which doubles as a refrigerator.
  4. SmartShopper. If writing down that grocery list is another task you don’t want to bother with, it might be easier to dictate. There’s a voice-activated device that’ll record and print it all out for you, by grocery department category. (I can’t help but voice my opinion in this case, but if you can’t use a pencil and scrap paper to write down a simple list, and if you can’t figure out that chicken belongs in Poultry, how can that be called smart?)
  5. iSlide Oven. Features of this Siemens oven include 25% faster cooking time, a seven-minute time span to reach 350 degrees, programmable cooking modes, and convection cooking methods that increases efficiency.
  6. Pint Lock. Protect your ice-cream from scavengers with a pint-sized lock. Now is this invention the epitome of perfect, or petty?
  7. Whirlpool Internet Fridge. This fridge has got a docking station for your can’t-do-without electronics, like the digital photo frame and iPod stereo system. For those who like to dance while cooking?
  8. Blue Fruit Extender. The blue ring of light around this fruit bowl is not just meant for modern good looks. It’s actually part of the Action Fresh Blue technology that kills bacteria to keep your fruit fresh. Quite a concept, though buying just as much fruit as you eat in the first place can do a lot to prevent spoilage. I must say, this device really has the ‘futuristic kitchen aura,’ though.
  9. Steak Toaster. The Ariete SteakHouse Indoor Grill is pretty much that – a toaster for steak. With the steak held up vertically, all the fatty juices drip to the bottom without smoking. Something to brag about?
  10. Entertainment Center. Another multi-media system for the kitchen, this Philips LCD-TV kitchen system is iPod, DVD, stereo, and CD ready.
  11. Kitchen Attendant. This kitchen kiosk will keep track of your grocery buying then do things with that info, from tracking food spoilage and inventory (in case you’d rather look into a screen than into your actual refrigerator) to offering videos of recipes.
  12. Miele Height Adjustable Stove Hood. Now you can remove smoke and odors at just the right elevation for the cook and what’s cooking. This hood has an ergonomic design for functionality and a quiet motor. One of my personal favorites on this list.
  13. Taste DJ. For the DJ/Cook, there’s actually a portable station that doubles as a turntable and cooktop.
  14. Nutritional Scale. Another screen for the kitchen. This one tracks the nutritional value of your food, from its calories and sugar level to its protein and carbohydrates.
  15. Electrolux Inspiro. This intelligent oven uses only the amount of heat it needs to get your meat cooking to the desired level, calculating energy consumption and time to help eliminate oven-based cooking disasters. I’d buy it!

Did anything on this list strike you, for one reason or another? In a previous post, Electronics in the Kitchen: Trendy and Desirable, or Too Much?, we discussed some of the pros and cons of all the gadgetry in the kitchen. Now that you’ve got several examples to mull over, send us a comment and tell us what you think! Photo Credit: Envee Apparel